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How Sonoma County looked 80 years ago in 1937

Ethel Ramatici Matteri poses for a photo in a pumpkin for the annual Petaluma Halloween parade. In 1937. (Courtesy of the Sonoma County Library)

JANET BALICKI WEBER,

It’s 1937 in Sonoma County. America is emerging from the Great Depression and Sonoma County residents are looking toward the approaching decade with optimism.

President Franklin Roosevelt’s “make work” programs provided jobs to millions of struggling Americas. We don’t have to look far to see how the New Deal affected our communities. The former Sonoma County Hospital on Chanate Road was built by the Works Progress Administration. Construction of the big amphitheater at Armstrong Grove and restoration of General Vallejo’s home for the State Parks system were also WPA projects.

1937 wasn't without challenges. A massive December flood left Russian River coastal residents struggling to recover.

Click through our gallery of Sonoma County in 1937 to get a glimpse at life 80 years ago.